Most of you know that we are a large family living a homeschooling and homesteading lifestyle, while also working out of our home full-time. Many people ask us, “How do you manage such a busy household?” And, “How do you get everything done?” Join me for this household management series.
It’s not always easy, but when the proper systems and routines are put into place, it is simple. Most of us forget that simple and easy aren’t the same thing. There are frequent bumps and difficulties during our days, so keeping the bigger purpose of why we’re doing what we’re doing in the forefront of our minds is key.
I’ve shared before about my secret to running a productive household. In this blog post, I am sharing the key to planning. It includes how to plan, things to avoid when planning, and the purposes of our planning.
Household Management: The Key to Running a Successful Household
There is one specific task that, when done daily, makes all the difference in running a smooth and productive household. This task is to make regular office planning time.
This planning time can be done first thing, but I find having a morning routine helps me be more focused and productive during this time. I usually get up, exercise or stretch, have some coffee and quiet time, then go to the office while most of the house is still sleeping.
I might even pop a make-ahead breakfast casserole into the oven to start cooking, or for days when everyone is on their own for breakfast, I love having this instant breakfast mix on the shelf that the kids can make themselves.
Having a plan for breakfast means this task doesn’t need to interrupt my planning time.
Make Office Time to Plan
Office planning time will look a bit different for every family, and I realize many of you aren’t managing a household with 13+ people as I am, but the principles are the same:
- Planning time should be mandatory every day, especially on Mondays.
- This should be considered foundational time. You should spend at least 15 minutes daily.
- It should be forming a plan that is week by week as well as month by month.
- It should include meal plans (read this post for tips on meal planning, this post on freezer cooking, and this post on eating well on a budget).
- Check your stores first – your pantry, fridge, freezer, and any leftover things that need to be used.
- Write down your meals for the week.
- Make your grocery list.
- Write down any significant events that will change the daily flow, so you are prepared for different routines.
- Create a primary to-do list to ensure the necessary tasks are planned for and accomplished.
- Write out any projects that need to be started or completed.
- What can be improved? After the 15-minute planning time, take a few extra minutes to walk around your home with a notebook and ask what you want to see get better. Maybe it’s a storage solution for the homeschool books so they’re not constantly out on the dining room table. Maybe it’s a system for getting donations to the donation center, or sourcing some storage bins to help organize your bulk food supply, etc. Homestead Hack: These aren’t projects you’ll necessarily tackle today or even this week, but if they’re not on a list, they’re likely to never get accomplished.
What to Avoid When Planning
Over the years there are a few things that I’ve come to realize are detrimental to planning time. Here’s a list of pitfalls to avoid when planning:
- Make sure to have no devices and no internet in front of you while you are planning. This can cause you to start researching something you might need or finding places to buy something on your list. You’ll be able to do this later but not during the 15 minutes of purposeful planning each day.
- During this 15-minute planning period, only use pencil and paper and a hard copy calendar. You can do a digital calendar later, but for now, this keeps you from the temptation of spending this time on color coding, finding better software tricks or even searching for new and better digital tools.
- Use this time for planning and not implementing. You can implement the plans later. For now, you just need a comprehensive plan for the day, week, and month.
The Purposes of Your Planning
Now that you know what to do when planning and what not to do, it is also important to remember the purposes behind your planning.
- Remember that being a homesteader means we’re producers, not just consumers. Our purposes should align with the philosophy that we are trying to produce more of what we consume.
- Always remember that your plans have the primary purpose of trying to get your household to run better.
- The goal of a better household is forward movement. You don’t want to put anything in your plans that will cause backward momentum.
- Stay tuned, I will be sharing more on the importance of a healthy breakfast, the importance of chore time for kids, and teaching our kids to have a productive morning. All three of these will help you further define your purposes to incorporate them into your planning.
Now that you know what to plan for, what to avoid while planning, and why you are planning, get a good night’s sleep, then wake up bright and early tomorrow. Grab your coffee and plan your amazing homesteading day, week, and month using your new planning tips.
Household Management Masterclass
If you feel like you want to take your household management skills to the next level, consider joining my Household Management Class. In this masterclass, you’ll learn how to turn your household chaos into household peace. It includes 17 full video lessons, my make-ahead breakfast casserole recipe eBook, and my household planning sheet printables. I’ll see you in class!